First product using flexible screen display
Flexible OLED displays launched in January
In January 2013 Samsung officially launched their flexible OLED displays, calling them YOUM displays. YOUM panels are bendable – but it’s likely that the first products to use those displays will actually be rigid. The display can be “curved” thought. A plastic based AMOLED will also be shatterproof, and also lighter and thinner compared to glass based OLEDs.
1st product using flexible display in October
In October 2013, Samsung announced the world’s first product to use a flexible OLED display – the Galaxy Round curved smartphone. This is an Android 4.3 smartphone similar to the Galaxy Note 3, with the major feature being the 5.7″ Full-HD curved flexible display; samsung simply refers to it as a flexible Super AMOLED, strangely they are not using the YOUM brand.
Flexible OLEDs are lightier and thinner compared to glass-based panels, and they should also be much more durable. In fact in the past they were said to be shatterproof, although Samsung did not mention this during the Galaxy Round release.
When will we see the first YOUM product?
As we said, in October 2013 Samsung finally launched the first flexible OLED product, although this was not branded as YOUM. Samsung announced they have started to mass produce flexible OLEDs – 5.7″ Full-HD panels.
Samsung currently capacity is about 8,000 5.5-Gen sheets, which is about 1-1.5 million 5″ panels a month assuming 100% yield. But they are producing larger panels, yields won’t be that high and the line is also used for R&D which means that actual production will be a few hundreds of thousands of panels a month.
As you can see, Samsung’s capacity is very limited; consider the fact that they currently make around 10 million 5″ AMOLEDs in a month for the Galaxy S4. So at first Samsung will not use these panels in a mass market phone. As we said, some reports suggest that Samsung will unveil a Galaxy Note 3 variant with a flexible OLED – this phone will be lighter, thinner and more durable than the regular Note 3.
- The Samsung Galaxy Round: Why the Curved Smartphone Display is Truly Innovative (thedroidguy.com)
- Samsung Galaxy Round with flexible display likely to debut soon (thenewstribe.com)
- What you should know about flexible displays (FAQ) (news.cnet.com)
- Flexible Displays: FAQ (business2community.com)
- Samsung Galaxy Round tipped to come this week with flexible display (androidcommunity.com)
- LG begins mass production of flexible OLED smartphone displays (androidos.in)